UK groups beat French in packaging market

French packaging clients are ripe for picking up by British design consultancies, according to the author of an in-depth study of French packaging design.

French market analyst Marc Rogers talked to hundreds of major clients and consultancies to produce his study into clients’ expectations.

And while packaging is, at an estimated 100m, the biggest earning discipline for French design consultancies, Rogers claims the French packaging design sector is not as advanced as the British when it comes to marketing knowledge or strategy.

“In most consultancies there are no marketing staff or a marketing culture,” says Rogers. “Clients nowadays want people in their consultancies to think about strategy and marketing.

“This is where British consultancies can have an advantage over the French. Plus they can talk about the effectiveness of design,” he adds.

Sector by sector analysis in the report points to health and beauty as the most lucrative area, with bigger fees – on average 18 000 per single pack design – and more open-minded clients.

The study also goes into the pitch process and consultancies’ own brochures. Competitive pitches are the norm in France, but if they are creative there is usually a pitch fee paid, in the region of 1000 to 4000.

The study suggests that 65 per cent of clients change consultancies for each project.

The biggest complaint from French clients is the lack of differentiation between consultancies. Clients end up not knowing how to choose between consultancies. “They only have the same things to say,” says Rogers, so clients end up choosing on fees. Consultancies’ brochures are often poor and are criticised by clients, says Rogers.

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